Sukna case:Gen Prakash dismissed from service

Guwahati: Former Military Secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash was today found guilty on three counts by an Army court here in the Sukna land scam case following which he was dismissed from service.

The dismissal means he will not be entitled to any benefits like pension. However, the court gave Lt Gen Prakash, the senior-most Army officer to face court martial, benefit of doubt on the fourth count of committing a civil offence.

61-year-old Prakash was held guilty of misusing his position under the Army Act section 45 (conduct unbecoming of his position as an officer) and section 52 (intent to defraud) by the General Court Martial at the 51 sub area of the army station at Narengi.

The court martial was conducted after Prakash was indicted by an army court of inquiry early last year for his role in the illegal transfer of 71 acres of land adjacent to the Sukna military station near Siliguri in West Bengal to a private realtor for constructing an educational institution in 2008.

He is the third Lt Gen rank officer to be punished in a case related to corruption. Lt Gen S K Sahni was cashiered from service for his role in the ration scam and Lt Gen P K Rath was given a punishment in the Sukna case earlier.

While Prakash and Sahni were punished after their retirement from service, Rath is still serving in the army. The scam dates back to 2008 when the alleged move to transfer the land in Siliguri district of West Bengal to a private educational trust came out in the open, leading to the army initiating the disciplinary proceedings against senior army officials, including Prakash and Rath.